POETRY: Morphometry by Helen Macdonald

Morphometry by Helen Macdonald

I have had live crows, hawks, owls, opossums, squirrels, snakes, and lizards so that my room has sometimes reminded me of Noah’s ark; but Noah had a wife in one corner of it, and in this particular our parallel does not altogether tally.
(Alexander Wilson)

I had an idea of this, is stacked with song
& cool blood, bruised with salad herbs & oil
Of petrae, callt oil of peter, salts, flats, larks.
Wet feathers continue to rise in my breast
Whereas your darker plumes operate a weak tacet
broken in twain, se muer, to moult & speak for a hope
For a moment or two for the pile of the land rocks back
in a dubitable movement shiny as a climate sere
As desert, it is all flush. Through a miracle of hatred
an expansion of range will serve, as light in itself;
Light and even as absolutely nothing else is.

But not wanting to wander across interior spelts
Inclined to bruise it as the pelf of good fortune, love.
To rack the head with love. A removable locus of bloody
and clouded leaves is politic & linear upon that phrase
Weighing classically so that the thought forgets itself
with difficulty. At once removes a tiny sphinx of tin
a shy and discreet creation, doubtless fussed by thin shadows
of bent sinew & pneumatized bone, my heart wilted in them

Home. Some miracle of hatred brought forth an expansion of range.
Nothing as durable as something which otherwise might take leave
soar up into a sky trailing wax and bells and subsist on its own.
It broke into something resembling a plan of submission;
grackles redrawn in the margin, and the whole arched
in pilasters of massy cloud. Doubt not but that the dead
were torn by the vision, where no place lies, there is none
to be had. In truth none at all, not even the aspiration to,
believing it spring and the heart it had sprung from dead.

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